A Robertson Family Christmas – Travis Thrasher & Kay Robertson

A Robertson Family Christmas Travis Thrasher Kay Robertson
A Robertson Family Christmas by Travis Thrasher, Kay Robertson
Published by Tyndale on October 1, 2014
Genres: Christian, Fiction
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four-stars

Hunter Clarke wanted one thing for Christmas: to spend it with his dad and his brother. He misses being included in any guy trips since his parents divorced and he went to live with his mom. So he’s less than happy when his mother tells him that he won a contest to spend Christmas in West Monroe, Louisiana, with a family named the Robertsons. For some reason, they’re supposed to be a big deal. How did he win a contest he didn’t enter? Besides, he’s never heard of them and sure doesn’t want to spend Christmas in a swamp with a bunch of strangers.

Korie Robertson is excited to open her heart and home to Hunter and show him what the Christmas season looks like for the Robertson family. And like it or not, Hunter experiences it firsthand. From duck-hunting disasters with the bearded guys, to learning to cook with Miss Kay, Hunter quickly discovers what it’s like to live with this boisterous, yet loving family. Putting on his headphones and ignoring them is not an option. Before long, Hunter begins to let his guard down. But with Christmas and the end of his trip fast approaching, will it be too little, too late? Or will Hunter be open to the greatest gift of all?

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Duck Dynasty. Over the past couple of years, the Robertson family has turned their incredibly successful business of making duck calls into a even more successful reality show about their family and their business. Running the gambit from absurd to serious from playful to controversial, Duck Dynasty has been a surprising breakout hit. There’s just something about the Robertsons that connects with people.

Recently, the Robertson clan has been leveraging that popularity in the Christian market in a big way. I’ve really been impressed with how the Robertson family has handled the spotlight and dealt with marketing their brand while using the show as a platform to simply show and preach Jesus.

A Robertson Family Christmas is set within the Duck Dynasty universe. And by that, I mean that it’s fiction…but only insofar as the show is fiction. The beliefs are real, the sentiment is real, the message is real, the beards are definitely real, but the story itself is fiction.

At the center of the story is Hunter, a seventeen year old with a failing family who wins a contest to spend Christmas with the Robertsons. Hunter is far from elated. His mom entered him in without telling him and the last thing he wants for Christmas is to spend it with some goofy rednecks, no matter how famous they might be. But, in the end, he sucks it up and gets on the plane.

After meeting the Robertsons, Hunter struggles to connect with the family and, at times, they struggle to connect with him. Eventually, the genuine kindness of the Robertson family wins out, but it leaves Hunter to compare this wonderful family with his own broken one. The story is about what you’d expect if you crossed Duck Dynasty with a Lifetime movie. It’s a simple, feel-good story that manages to both not take itself too seriously while still dealing with some pretty deep themes.

If you’re a fan of the show (or know someone who is), you’re going to enjoy the look into the Robertsons’ life. There’s a lot of non-fiction written in here, to the point that I truly wonder if coauthor Travis Thrasher secretly spent a couple days with the Robertson clan while disguised as a teenager. A Robertson Family Christmas is a solidly-written inspirational story that’s sure to be a bestseller. If you’ve any interest in the show (and even if you don’t), you’ll want to pick this one up.

four-stars

About Travis Thrasher

Travis Thrasher

Bestselling author Travis Thrasher has written over 50 books, spanning genres in fiction, nonfiction and children’s literature. His inspirational stories have included collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, athletes, celebrities and pastors.

With the childhood goal of pursuing a writing career starting in third grade, Thrasher worked for 13 years at Tyndale House Publishers after graduating college. His experience working with as Author Relations Manager allowed him to understand the writing life as well as training him to work with a variety of personalities. This experience has proven to be invaluable with varied writing projects in the decade he’s been a full-time writer.

His novels are as diverse as the people he’s worked with, ranging from love stories to supernatural thrillers. Publishers Weekly said “Sara and Ethan are two of the most real and sensitive lovers to grace the genre” when reviewing his first novel, The Promise Remains. They also stated “Thrasher demonstrates a considerable talent for the horror genre” in a review for Isolation years later. His readers have enjoyed the unpredictability of his novels, whether it’s due to a unique style such as second person or a twist they never saw coming.

Thrasher’s storytelling ability has also allowed him to work with others on their books, from musicians like country musician Scotty McCreery and Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain to the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty. He has also penned novels based on songs such as Paper Angels with Jimmy Wayne and novelizations for films including Do You Believe? and God’s Not Dead 2. Upcoming projects continue to expand his talents, with projects including The Black Auxiliary about the lives of the 17 American black athletes who competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, and Baby Don’t Hurt Me about comedian Chris Kattan’s life and time on Saturday Night Live.

Travis lives with his wife and three young daughters in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

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